ESPN analyst and former top-ranked golfer Paul Azinger called Tiger Woods a “hack” after his poor performance Thursday in the first round of the 2015 British Open in Scotland. Woods bogeyed five of his first 10 holes at St. Andrews and finished at 4-over.
Azinger, who is prominently featured on ESPN’s coverage of the event, took the opportunity to take several shots at the struggling golfer. “It’s hard to watch the greatest player of his generation be a middle-of-the-pack hack,” Azinger said, according to USA Today. “You almost want to say, ‘Who are you and what have you done to Tiger Woods?'”
“He’s saying all of the things he should be saying. He keeps saying he’s close. He might be delusional,” Azinger said at another point, according to NJ.com.
Woods has struggled in several tournaments since his return from a back injury that caused him to miss most of 2014. He entered the 2015 British open as the world’s 241st-ranked golfer – a far cry from his years as the sport’s undisputed best player. Woods admitted his play was subpar and said he “made so many mistakes” during the first round.
A day earlier, Woods laughed off rumors that he would retire due to his recent poor play and said he felt as though he had fully recovered from last year’s back surgery. He finished at 7-under at the Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia last week.
“Well, retirement? I don’t have any AARP card yet, so I’m a ways from that,” Woods said, according to ESPN. “I feel like my body is finally healed up from the surgery last year. They say it takes you about four to six months to get back, but I’ve heard a lot of guys on tour who have the surgery and other athletes who say it takes a year to get back.”
Woods has 14 career major tournament victories and has won the British Open on three separate occasions. His most recent win at the tournament came in 2006, when shot 18-under to defeat the field by five strokes.